‘Name me one player that stood up and had an outstanding autumn’
Former England No8 Nick Easter obviously is not the only person that thinks England did not play well this autumn, but he as gone as far to say that no player stood up in the series at all.
On BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight this week, Easter said that, unlike normal campaigns where England have underperformed, it is hard to find a player that “stood up” for England as they won only one of four matches, against Japan.
Easter came into the England squad in the 2007 Six Nations just months after Andy Robinson had been sacked after a poor 2006 autumn by England. The current set up finds itself in a bizarrely similar situation to what it did 16 years ago, but still managed to reach the World Cup final a year later in the autumn of 2007.
“These are all top players, they are,” he said. “We have an unbelievable talent pool in the squad and in English rugby and for me, taking away from these autumn internationals, amongst other things like the crowd being so disenfranchised throughout from the Argentina game to yesterday, is: name me one player that stood up throughout this autumn series and had an outstanding autumn series. There have been autumn series and Six Nations where we haven’t performed, results-wise, as we’d like, but there are always two or three nuggets we can take away from that usually in individually performances. What’s going on there that’s stifling the ability of a lot of those talented players?”
Martin Bayfield did counter by saying Freddie Steward played well for England, but even the fullback’s standards dropped for the final match against South Africa, which was comfortably the worst performance of the month by Jones’ men as they slumped to a 27-13 loss with South Africa playing with 14 players for the final quarter.
This is what he said:
“All that is needed is a deep, honest conversation about the direction of travel for this team.”
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) November 27, 2022